According to statistics from the NYC Department of Buildings there were no fatalities at New York City construction sites during the first trimester of 2019 compared to 2 during the last trimester of 2018 and 4 during the same period a year ago. A total of 137 construction workers were injured in NYC during the first 3 months of the year compared to 158 during the previous trimester and 174 during the same period a year ago. From April 1st 2018 to March 31st 2019, 8 construction workers died on the job, compared to 16 for the same period a year earlier. (click on graphs for full size)
Among the 137 workers who were injured, 90 of them were working at Manhattan construction sites, 10 at Bronx sites, 23 at Brooklyn sites, 13 at Queens sites and 1 at a Staten Island construction site.
Most construction accident fatalities and deaths in New York City occur in Manhattan. Both fatalities and injuries are on a rising trend in Manhattan. However, on a positive note, it is the first time since 2015 that no hard hat death was recorded in Manhattan over a 5 month-period. 25 workers were injured at Manhattan construction sites in both January and March with a spike at 40 in February.
Bronx has a low number of injuries and deaths on construction sites. Since the begining of 2015 until the end of March 2018 two workers died and 129 of them were injured. During the first trimester of 2019 10 workers were injured compared to respectively 5, 5, 8, 1 and 1 during the first trimester of 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015. Despite being low the number of injuries in the Bronx has been increasing significantly over the last 3 years. This may also reflects an increase in construction developments in the Bronx.
In Brooklyn both hard hat fatalities and injuries are on a rising trend. 23 workers were injured during the first trimester of 2019 compared to respectively 36, 19, 16 and 8 during the same period of 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015. Both deaths and injuries rose with the boom in new constructions in Brooklyn over the recent years.
In Queens fatalities at construction sites are not that common except for November 2016 when 2 workers died in the same month. Since 2015, 5 constructions worker deaths were reported to the DOB. The last one was in March 2018. Injuries are on a slight rise. The highest they went was 17 in June 2017. So far since the beginning of the year they stayed below 10 per month.
Staten Island has the lowest number of hard hat deaths and injuries of all five NYC boroughs. Since 2015, 1 construction worker death and 58 injuries were reported. Despite their low numbers injuries are also on the rise in Staten Island. One worker was injured during the first trimester.
Injuries and deaths related to falls are the most common not only in New York but in the entire construction industry. Falling material also causes injuries to workers every month. Excavation and soil work continues to be one of the most dangerous activities on construction sites. Injuries not only to workers but also to pedestrians also occur on a regular basis with scaffolds, sheds, fences and shoring. Deaths and injuries while using mechanical construction equipment are also quite common at New York sites.
Many types of injuries can occur at a construction site and they can’t all beclassified in specific categories therefore the DOB has a lot of them classified under “other” which sometimes can be questionable. For example the DOB classified under other, a worker who had to be hospitalized after falling five feet from a ladder while it categories most ladder accidents as “fall”. Many non-life threatening injuries are also classified under “others”. An electrician who lost his balance and cut his hand while trying to reach for something to grab, a construction worker who got concrete splashed onto his eyes and a ladder that fell on a worker during high wind were among the many accidents that were classified in the “other” category during the first trimester of 2019.
One worker was injured in NYC during the first trimester while doing excavation and soil work. The accident occurred in Brooklyn at 1797 Broadway on January 3rd. The worker was guiding piles into place when a pile shifted injuring the worker’s leg. An Aggravated Level 2 ECB Violation was issued for a failure to safeguard. A full Stop Work Order and a DOB Violation were also issued.
Too often workers are getting injured by falling material. During the first trimester of 2019, 22 workers suffered personal injury after being hit by falling material. Most falling material accidents can be prevented and occur because of failure to safeguard the work area. Among the falling material accidents reported during the first trimester, two were related to ceiling or roof collapsing on workers. Fences falling on pedestrians is also occurring on regular bases. A fence fell on a hot dog stand injuring the worker who was selling the hot dogs and a pizza delivery man was injured by the section of a construction jersey barrier with a fence that fell on him. Another pedestrian was injured by heavy packages that fell of a dolly that was moved by construction workers. Several accidents related to windows falling on workers during handling were also reported during the first trimester of 2019.
3 construction workers were injured while using mechanical or construction equipment. Among them, a worker on a Bronx construction site who was using a pump to pour cement grout into a concrete masonry unit wall. As he was pouring the cement grout, the hose got blocked, which caused pressure to build up inside the hose. All of sudden the pressure released. As a result, the hose knocked the worker down, hit him in the head and caused him to fall down approximately two feet from one scaffolding deck to the next level.
During the first trimester of 2019, two people were injured in accidents related to Scaffold, Shed, Fence or Shoring Installation. A pedestrian was injured after a panel of a fence was blown off from an anchor point by the wind. The panel of fence then struck the pedestrian on her leg. In the second accident another pedestrian was injured after a a section of parapet wall on the side of the building was taken down.
According to the DOB records, there were no construction accident fatalities related to fall during the first trimester of 2019. 27 workers were injured in fall accidents during the same period. Many of the falls involve workers falling from ladders. The icy weather was also a factor in several falls. Baker scaffold that were not proprely secured caused two workers to fall in two separate accidents.
The DOB classification is not that sophisticated and many construction accidents are just classified as other. 82 construction workers were injured in construction accidents that were not related to the above categories. Many of them include finger cuts or other cuts as well as workers hurting their back carrying heavy material.